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Nic Ladds 29th Nov 2010 - 15:23

Has Hernandez found his Carling in life?

Carling Cup Betting Preview - West Ham v Manchester United -Tuesday 19:45

This match sees top-of-the-table and two-time defending champions Manchester United travel to rock-bottom West Ham as both sides try to build on big wins at the weekend.

West Ham (4/1) fans pleaded with their players to 'save our season' as Wigan visited at the weekend and they duly obliged with a massive 3-1 win but it still sees them rooted to the bottom.

Confidence is still low and although booking their place in the semi-finals would surely be a massive confidence boost, I think Avram Grant's priorities lie away from this competition as his thin squad have more important things to worry about.

Man Utd (8/11) look a very backable price, even if Sir Alex Ferguson puts out an under-strength side as expected. With his side coming into this match on the back of a 7-1 win over Blackburn which sent them to the top of the league, he won't want to follow it up with a defeat going into a busy festive period.

Even if the starting XI Manchester United send out isn't the strongest on paper, you can usually trust Sir Alex to put out a team he has confidence in to get the job done. You don't win this cup two years running by disregarding it completely.

If you need convincing that Manchester United have more than enough to see off their opponents then just look at some of the stats:

Manchester United have won their last six meetings with West Ham - all Premier League encounters - and have kept five consecutive clean sheets against them. (Manchester United clean sheet 6/5)

Manchester United are unbeaten this season, having won 15 and drawn eight of their 23 matches. (Manchester United to qualify 1/3). They do go on.....

The only real one that favours West Ham is their home record recently, they are unbeaten in four matches in front of their fans and if you fancy Avram's side to cause an upset the bet has to be West Ham and the draw in the double chance market at even money to cover your bases.

If Wayne Rooney starts he has to be the pick to score first at 3/1. Although he has struggled compared to last season he loves scoring against The Hammers and has scored four goals in his last three starts against them.

For a better price, look no further than Javier Hernandez.  The Mexican has repaid Sir Alex taking a risk on him by scoring seven goals already this season and although the 7/2 first is slightly better than Rooney's price - our Match Winner offer of an enhanced 7/1 for him to score two or more anytime is more appealing for me.

There have been 22 goals scored in Man Utd's last five Carling Cup ties so I think it is pretty safe to expect a few more going in, especially with West Ham's leaky defence. Over 2 goals is 17/20 but the value is on over 3 match goals at 11/5.

If this was a league match, there is no way you would get anywhere near 8/11 in a 'top vs bottom' encounter. Just because this is the Carling Cup and Sir Alex may play an inexperienced squad, you can rely on him to put a team out more than capable of getting the job done.



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